Dec. 30, 2016
BRONX, NY - Emile Blackman led five Duquesne players in double figures with 17 points as the Dukes held off Fordham for a 75-72 win at Rose Hill Gym in the Atlantic 10 opener for both schools.
The win was the fourth in a row for the Dukes, who moved to 8-6 overall. The loss dropped Fordham to 6-8 overall and 6-3 at home.
Blackman and Mike Lewis II, who finished with 15, were big down the stretch, combining for nine consecutive points after Fordham took a 66-64 lead with 2:56 left.
Lewis II started the run with a 3-pointer. Blackman followed with a big put back, then Lewis II and Blackman followed with two free throws each to make it 73-66 with 12 seconds left.
"We talk about what league play is about and that was a typical league basketball game," said Duquesne head coach Jim Ferry. "What's that they say, `onions?', I thought Mike showed that on that last 3-pointer. We showed great composure as a group tonight."
Duquesne outrebounded Fordham 59-32. The 27-board margin was Duquesne's largest in five seasons under Ferry.
DU turned it over just 13 times against a Fordham defense that entered the game ranked second nationally in turnovers forced per game at 20.7.
"I thought we did a great job of not turning the ball over," said Ferry. "Against some teams, 13 turnovers may sound like a lot, but not against these guys. We did a good job of staying aggressive. That was our mindset entering the game and I think our guys really followed through."
Duquesne held Fordham to nine field goals, while outrebounding the Rams 35-14 in jumping out to a 40-28 halftime lead.
DU missed 11 of its first 14 shots to open the second half, as Fordham cut the lead to 46-43. The Dukes responded with a pair of Lewis II free throws followed by a Rene Castro 3-pointer - the first after five team 3-point misses to open the half - to make it 51-43 with 12:17 left.
Castro had 7 points, 4 rebounds and a team-high 5 assists with just one turnover in 30 minutes off the bench.
Fordham tied it for the first time on a steal and layup by Joseph Chartouny with just over five minutes remaining.
Antwoine Anderson, who scored all six of his points in the final seven-plus minutes, hit a layup to give Fordham its first lead at 65-64 with 3:45 to go.
Anderson made one of two free throws to make it a two-point game before the Lewis II/Blackman 9-0 run.
"Its a game of flows," said Ferry. "We could have easily lost that game when they took that lead - maybe earlier this season we would have. The way we finished, shows the maturity we've gained as a group.
"When you shoot 39 percent from the field, go 6-of-28 from 3-point and 68 percent from the line and win on the road, that shows a lot of character. We got meaningful contributions from a lot of players."
Duquesne hosts VCU in its Atlantic 10 home opener on Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 7:00 p.m. (ASN). It will be the Rams first visit to the A.J. Palumbo Center (DU's two previous home games versus VCU were played at PPG Paints Arena).
Kale Abrahamson came off the bench to post his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes ... the 10 boards were a career-high.
Fordham entered the game ranked second nationally in turnovers forced per game at 20.7 and third in steals at 11.2 ... Duquesne turned it over 13 times ... the Rams finished with 8 steals.
Duquesne, which averaged 16.8 turnovers in going 3-5 in its first eight games, has turned it over just 11.7 times per game in winning five of its last six.
There were three ties and two lead changes ... Duquesne's largest lead was 12 at 40-28 with 19:41 left in the game ... Fordham's largest lead was two at 66-64 with 2:07 remaining ... Duquesne, which didn't trail for the first 34:56, led for a total of 36:02 ... Fordham led for 1:42 ... the game was tied for 2:16.